ESPAÑOLA — At its April 12, meeting, the Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) Branch Community College Board elected new officers, discussed enrollment and approved an FY 2023 budget.
Antonette Serrano was elected Board President, joined by Donald Valdez as Vice President and Jeremy Maestas as Secretary/Treasurer. Toby Velasquez will be the Branch Community College Board’s representative on the Presidential Search Committee.
The board approved an FY 2023 budget of $3,088,228, which will go to the NNMC Board of Regents for approval May 5.
Vice-President for Finance & Administration C. Vince Lithgow III reported that FY 2022 mill levy revenues were lower than many had anticipated, most likely due to those behind in their taxes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When we first started receiving the mill levy revenue it was an unknown, a projected amount that was really ultra-liberal of about $2.4 million a year. That was the estimated maximum number,” Lithgow said. “Then there’s reality, the amount that we had estimated on the finance side. We estimated about $2 million for the past couple of years.”
The largest expenditures for the first two years of operation have been addressing infrastructure needs such as refurbishing classroom and lab spaces, purchasing equipment and bringing buildings up to code, with another sizable percentage devoted to developing technology programs and the remaining funds committed to integral support units such as student services and information technology.
“As we progress forward, we expect more of the funding will be devoted to academia versus equipment and infrastructure,” Lithgow said.
Lithgow reported that mill levy revenues are on track to be $2 million for FY 2023 but noted that the finance department has taken a conservative approach to developing the FY 2023 budget. The Branch Community College fund balance will be used to support both the current fiscal year 2022 budget plus the proposed budget for fiscal year 2023.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ivan Lopez updated the board on enrollment. The Plumbing Technology Program has the largest enrollment numbers, mainly due to NNMC’s collaboration with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 412. The Higher Learning Commission accredited the Local 412 remote learning locations in Albuquerque and Los Alamos last year. There are 41 declared students in the plumbing apprenticeship program (restricted to 412 members) and two in the Branch Community College non-apprenticeship program. The 412 apprenticeship program has another 89 undeclared students who will eventually declare either the Associate or Certificate Plumbing program.
The Electrical Technology program has eight students declared.
Twenty-two dual credit students are taking courses in the Technical Trades programs. Fifteen are attending face-to-face courses in El Rito Campus, three are attending online courses and four are not active the second eight weeks of the semester. Pojoaque Valley High School is sending 19 students, Espanola Valley High School has two students and McCurdy Charter School has one student. Escalante High enrolled four students last semester who have not been able to coordinate their school sport schedule with the trade schedule this semester.
Ten additional adult students take courses at the El Rito campus, five face-to-face courses and five in online courses.